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Prosecutors noted in a court filing on Saturday that approximately 10 former NXIVM members dropped off a petition at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn one day earlier, The Albany Times Union reports. The petition demands that Raniere’s prosecutors affirm eight statements which question whether or not they tampered with evidence or threatened witnesses in his case.
The Raniere supporters have formed a group called "Make Justice Blind" and they have posted the petition, which they refer to as "an affidavit," in full on their website.
"The purpose of the affidavit is for the prosecutors to certify that they did not commit illegal acts in order to gain a conviction, acts such as tampering with evidence, committing perjury, threatening potential witnesses, and more," they stated on their website. "The intent behind Make Justice Blind’s petition is to introduce public accountability to the Grand Jury system through a partnership between the media and the people, and send a message to prosecutors everywhere that we, the people, are watching."
They claim they will release evidence about the eight statements they want affirmation about in the coming weeks.
"The hope is that the media coverage will put pressure on the prosecutors to answer to these crimes and inspire the court [...] to either condemn these acts or admit to condoning them," they said.
The group's team is made of longtime members of NXIVM, including "Battlestar Galactica" actor Nicki Clyne.
Raniere and high-ranking NXIVM members were arrested after the multi-level marketing group was exposed for hiding a sex cult within it that branded women and forced them to hand over blackmail material. Raniere, who was the head of NXIVM, was convicted for racketeering, sex trafficking, and other charges in 2019.
The petition has attracted signatures from multiple people who fight for the wrongfully accused, including artist and advocate Valentino Dixon, who spent 27 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted for murder. His drawings of golf courses helped him get exonerated in 2018, WBUR reported at the time. Other supporters include founder of Lighthouse Project, a Canadian non-profit which advocates for the wrongfully accused, Diana Davison and most notably, Knox. Knox infamously spent years in an Italian prison after being wrongly convicted for the 2007 murder of her roommate.
"I was contacted by some former members of NXIVM who claim that Mr. Raniere has been wrongfully convicted, and that the story being told in the media is wrong," Knox told the Times Union over the weekend via email. "I personally do not know enough about the case to make any judgments about whether his conviction is wrongful or not.”
She added that her support is for “prosecutors in the case to affirm some principles of prosecutorial conduct that any prosecutor should be able to affirm, such as not engaging in perjury, not tampering with evidence, and not threatening witnesses.”
Knox said that violation of such practices equate to “prosecutorial misconduct, regardless of Mr. Raniere's guilt or innocence."
Knox has not immediately responded to Oxygen.com's request for comment.
Neil Glazer, a lawyer who represents NXIVM victims in an ongoing civil suit, called the petitions “absurd" and "a publicity stunt, orchestrated by Raniere to throw up smoke and mirrors and to peddle conspiracy theories to keep his remaining disciples in the fold" in conversation with the Times Union.
“I’ve never seen anything like this bizarre document in all my years of legal practice," he said.
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